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Teddy Bridgewater could have longest wait in 2014 NFL Draft


Everybody remembers the drama heading into the 2005 NFL Draft. The San Francisco 49ers held the first overall pick and had a decision to make between local star Aaron Rodgers or Utah's Alex Smith as their quarterback of the future.

We all know how that worked out.

» Manziel leads record 30 prospects attending draft

Smith had a number of good years in the Bay Area before being traded to Kansas City. Rodgers, of course, sat behind Brett Favre for a few years before eventually leading the Packers to the Super Bowl in 2011.

Though Green Bay fans will surely recall the image of Rodgers holding up the Lombardi Trophy whenever they think of him, those that follow the draft closely likely will remember the look on his face when he slid further and further down the draft board back in 2005. He sat and sat -- and sat some more -- as he watched team after team fail to call his name.

It was one of the most memorable and, for some, painful, waits in the green room of any draft. The 2014 NFL Draft features a record 30 players invited to New York City and that large number means at least a handful of prospects will find themselves sitting around the green room as long and longer than Rodgers did back in the day.

Who had better make sure they have hotel reservations for two days? Here are five players who could have the longest wait backstage before hearing their name called by the commissioner.

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

Perhaps the draft's biggest enigma, it's anybody's guess where Bridgewater winds up. He is NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's top-ranked quarterback in this class, but it's become increasingly clear that NFL teams have not put the same stock in the former Cardinals star. He could go in the top five, but the scuttlebutt in league circles seems to indicate he's in for a long wait.

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois

Buzz continues to build around the quick release of Garoppolo, but he nevertheless was a surprising name to find on the list of quarterbacks invited to the draft. mock drafts don't have him going in the first round, but his presence in New York suggests at least a handful of teams might attempt to take him early in the second round or even trade up to the bottom of the first to get him.

Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

Kouandjio's presence on this list is a classic draft-day reminder that it takes only one team to fall in love with you. He dropped like a rock on most boards when his knee became an issue at the NFL Scouting Combine, and that's scared off a number of teams. Others have done their evaluations and don't have as big of an issue over his medicals though. Based on some of his tape at Alabama he has the tools to be a first-rounder, but a number of factors could have him hanging out in the green room for some time.

Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

In the past 30 NFL drafts, the Commodores have seen one of their players taken in the first round just three times. Matthews could be a surprise candidate to sneak in there and be the fourth at the tail end of the first round, but don't be surprised to see him wait around until the second night of the draft. NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks has Matthews going 60th overall to the Panthers in his latest two-round mock draft, so even that would mean a lot of waiting around for him.

Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana

It's quite possible no receiver has risen in the draft as much as Latimer. He had solid production in college and has a great mix of size and speed to contribute for a number of clubs early on. He also is still recovering from a left foot injury that might continue to keep teams away from him on draft night without the chance to fully evaluate him before May 8.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.



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